Article out: Psychosocial factors influencing the experience of sustainability professionals

A paper based on my PhD research has just been published by Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal: Psychosocial factors influencing the experience of sustainability professionals. A limited number of free copies are available to download (this goes to blank page when limit is reached).

The purpose of this study is to gain insight into psychosocial factors influencing sustainability professionals in their work to lead by influencing and improving pro-environmental decision-making in their organisations and to increase understanding of psychosocial factors that affect their effectiveness in achieving desired results.

Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis as a framework, the study enquires into the lived experience of six research subjects. The participants are sustainability professionals and leaders from the UK and Canada. The primary data source is semi-structured interviews, analysed with micro-discourse analysis.

Key psychosocial factors involved in participants’ experience are identified, specifically psychological threat-coping strategies, psychological needs, motivation and vitality, finding complex interactions between them. Tensions and trade-offs between competency, relatedness and autonomy needs and coping strategies such as suppression of negative emotion and “deep green” identity are modelled in diagrams to show the dynamics. How these tensions are negotiated has implications for psychological well-being and effectiveness.

The concepts and models presented in this paper may be of practical use to sustainability professionals, environmentalists and organisation leaders, for example, in identifying interventions to develop inner resources, support authentic and effective action and disrupt maladaptive responses to ecological crisis.

The study contributes insight to understanding of underlying processes shaping environmental cognition and behaviour, particularly in relation to psychological threat-coping strategies and interacting factors. With a transdisciplinary approach, the methodology enables nuanced interpretation of complex phenomena to be generated.

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4 Responses to Article out: Psychosocial factors influencing the experience of sustainability professionals

  1. Kate Bevan says:

    Hi Nadine – this looks really interesting – well done!

    would love to read but cannot seem to get link.

    Can you advise please.

    All best wishes

    Kate … up to eyes in marking!!!


  2. cultureprobe says:

    HI Kate, thanks. Link seems to work fine so not sure what the issue is, send me email x

  3. Pingback: climate psychology & role of emotions | cultureprobe

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